Board Game Bars: Will You Take The Risk?
Feeling bored? Or are you feeling board? Here’s one for the players who love to go on nights out and play the game…You know, a bit of Cluedo here and there, maybe Twister if you’re feeling groovy. Yep, here are a round-up of London’s best places to play board games. Locations that have dedicated their lives to a bit of Colonel Mustard in the library, to add a certain je ne sais quoi to your night out. As far as I was concerned the only games that existed were Monopoly, Cluedo, Battleship and Connect4, yet when Draughts café are boasting 800 plus games I have realised my naivety. If you share this same problem, scrabble to these hip locations for a bit of old school gaming.
The name may be Draughts, but with a games list longer than it takes to complete Monopoly, Draughts in Waterloo and Hackney is London’s first board game café, and an absolute haven for game lovers. The location has 800+ board games in total, and with numbers racked up like that it seems Draughts will be saying check mate to any other future games coming out of the woodwork. £5 entry is all it takes to feed your competitive side, and there will also be a game guru on hand to help you snake on up that ladder. So, if you’re a sucker for a bit of Mrs Plum in the drawing room, Draughts is the one for you.
Where: Arch 16, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN
Found among the nightlife of Dalston, Scenario bar is a gaming dungeon that’ll have you whiling away the hours over an intense session of Battleships. Spanning across two floors, the top floor is a relaxing space for a cocktail or two and the basement is where it gets serious. So, if you’re a sore loser avoid at all costs, or get your Mario Kart on at Scenario circa the start of the Noughties.
What to expect: XBox One, Playstation 4, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Playstation VR, Sega Dreamcast plus, over 100 actual board games.
With a library of 555+ board, Library Pot in Richmond really is a hub of fun that’ll have you shouting Yahtzee not No-tzee. Willing board game bandits can come along and grab some food and drink to keep themselves well fed during serious game seshes. Weekdays are first two hours free (one drink minimum per hour) then £2 per person per hour. Weekends £5 per person per session for games. Oh, and feel free to dress up!
Where: 86 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PQ
The Book Club
Don’t be deceived by the name as this ain’t no book club! The Victorian Warehouse is, by day, a meeting space, bar and cocktail haven who have jumped (battle)ship to also include board games in their listings. Every other Sunday you’ll be able to indulge in a good bit of check mate-ing as you sip on drinks and have a lazy gaming Sunday. Also why not take it into the evening and enjoy some ping-pong and a DJ set.
Where: 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
The Candid Café
This charity gallery is the perfect place to get your hands on an original game of Scrabble, somewhat musky smelling but full of Sunday afternoon’s and earl grey tea charm! The space is part of the Candid Arts Centre and a charming little spot away from the madding crowd.
Where: 3 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ
A boozer in the East End, painted in dazzle camouflage and serving up boardgames along with pints, it has to be Secret Weapon. The sister pub to Scenario, Secret Weapon brings not only trademark cocktails as well as regular drinks and a beer garden to Stratford, but also a host of multiplayer games, boardgames, quick fire card games and more advanced campaign style games. Meaning Secret Weapon pretty much has your back whatever games you’re playing.
Where: 25 West Ham Lane, Stratford, E15 4PH